Precision Aquaculture Research Advances Automated Monitoring and Control for Fish Health and Welfare

Monday, December 20, 2021

Researchers in the AquaDetector Project have reached an important half-way milestone in their objective to develop precise detection technologies to visualise water quality distribution, classify fish stress behaviours, and analyse the combined impact of environmental factors on juvenile grouper and trout. Maltese company AquaBioTech Group, an aquaculture research, engineering, and development SME, is continuing to advance its global vision of working with high profile collaborators, the China Agricultural University, and Mingbo Aquatic Co. Ltd., to promote greater productivity and sustainability in the aquaculture industry.

The project has supported the further advancement of one of the facility’s research labs with installation of monitoring technologies including overhead cameras, additional probes for advanced water quality parameters, and integration of automated “data grabbing” software specifically designed for the purpose of automatic data acquisition. This data will be further analysed and linked to the condition and behavior of the fish to optimise their health, welfare, and growth through automated monitoring and control of their housing conditions.

The partners in the project have built a lasting relationship that will strengthen ties between Malta and China in research collaboration. Targeted site visits and international innovation meetings are planned for 2022 between the Young Scientist Innovation Team of CAU and upcoming young researchers in Malta, with a focus on including women researchers in interdisciplinary research across areas of biology, pathology, machine learning, AI, and automation. These actions align with the Water Framework Directive (EU) and Guidance for Green Development of Aquaculture Industries (China), the European Green Deal, and EU bioeconomy strategy, including within wider Agricultural context, by developing technologies and operating principals to minimize the environmental impact of aquaculture and increase economic and environmental sustainability of the industry in both China and Europe

The Malta Council for Science and Technology (MCST) is providing funding and support for this project in collaboration with the People’s Republic of China’s Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) under the framework of the Agreement on Science and Technological Cooperation between the Government of Malta and the Government of the People’s Republic of China. The international collaboration aims to improve the quality, scope, and critical mass in science and research by linking national resources and knowledge with that of other countries. To ensure Malta’s competitiveness, researchers and the private industry need support for internationalisation. MCST has committed to ensuring this by supporting the local research community in building its networks through collaborative opportunities such as the SINO-MALTA Fund.

Project AquaDetector funded by the Malta Council for Science and Technology through the Sino-Malta Fund 2019 (Science and Technology Cooperation). Grant agreement number: SINO-MALTA-2019-11 Project AquaDetector funded by Ministry of Science and Technology of the People’s Republic of China.



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